Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here


No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Behaviour

The European badger Meles meles constructs burrows of two basic types: 'main setts' and 'outliers'. We examined daytime burrow use year-round in 19 radio-collared badgers belonging to six different social groups, in order to test the hypotheses relating use of multiple sleeping sites to ectoparasite avoidance and social status. Ten animals rarely or never slept away from the main sett, while the remaining nine animals spent 20-73% of their days in outliers, mainly in summer. Outlier use was not related to sex or body condition, but animals that used outliers tended to be younger and had larger numbers of fleas than those that remained in the main sett year-round. Within the main sett, all the members of a social group had overlapping ranges: i.e. the sett was not divided into separate 'territories'. Group ranges were smallest in winter and largest in summer/autumn. Nest chambers were usually shared between at least two members of a social group on any one day, but males slept alone more often than did females. Individuals tended to cluster together in the same nest chamber more in winter than at other times of year, presumably to gain thermoregulatory advantage from huddling. We conclude that the pattern of burrow use in badgers is complex. Use of space within the main sett and tendency to disperse to outliers in the summer are in part affected by ectoparasite infestation, while use of space within the main sett is also influenced by variables such as sex and age that may reflect social status.

Affiliations: 1: School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QG, UK


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation